Wandering around the lanes of Cochin landed us onto this beautiful gem called Durbar Art Gallery. Situated on a green field, the magnificent architecture of Durbar hall art gallery simply
enhanced the surrounding area. Moreover from the locales we learned that till 2002, this ground was only used for waste disposal but right now, it appeared in front of us like a green islet
amidst the hullabaloo of the city.
We were told that this art gallery remains open from 1 am- 7pm. As we were on tight budget during our Kerala trip, it only made us happier when we saw that entry inside the Durbar hall is
absolutely free. This two storied building cast a spell on us at the very first sight itself. The squeaky cleanliness around set our expectations high and the breath-taking art illustrations on
both the floors- immersed our souls into the cultural richness of India.
Like its recent avatar, the history of Durbal hall art gallery is also really interesting. This more-than 150-year old building once
served as the durbar hall for the kings of Cochin. Later, it undergone through many changes of ownership and at one point of time, housed the offices of National Cadet Core (NCC) and a
hydro-electrical project respectively. In my eyes, all these nuggets had made Durbar hall all the more special and gave it a distinguished quality. Right now, this building is owned by Lalit Kala
Academy and from its cultural ambience, one can only guess that this is a pet project of the academy.
What mostly enticed me in Durbar hall is the paintings by artists like Raja Ravi Verma, Manu Parekh, Padmini to name a few. I was more than happy to observe few paintings of Raja Ravi Verma in real life as I had only seen them in internet previously. Apart from that, the wooden staircase and the intricately designed doors of Durbar hall art gallery only added to its charisma.
Lastly, while inspecting the elements of Durbar hall art gallery when we bumped into the fact that it’s the fundamental venue of Kochi Biennale Foundation- my liking and longing for this charming
place only multifold.